Truth or Dare? (Part 1)
Lesson 2: The Truth Is
1. To convince students that Truth exists and to know what Truth is
2. To instruct that denial of truthful living and judgment are synonymous
3. To help students plan to live lives of conviction and honesty
Guidance, Honesty, Truth, Wisdom
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (15 minutes)
Blanket Name Game (Game) Click here
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
(Play a game of fact or fiction. These statements are all false. The idea here is simply to get students thinking again about true/false, right/wrong. Have them vote, guess, or however you want to structure it. Have fun.)
1. Springfield is the second most popular city name in the United States. (False, it’s the most popular. Salem is 2nd most popular.)
2. The Oakland Athletics have won the second most number of World Series Championships of any franchise in the Major Leagues. (False, the answer is the St. Louis Cardinals.)
3. Your body creates and destroys one million red blood cells per second (False. It is 15 million.)
4. “Jiffy” (as in, “I’ll be back in a jiffy”) is not an actual unit of time. (False. It is one-hundredth of a second.)
5. The longest a chicken has ever been witnessed to fly is forty-eight seconds (False. It was only 13 seconds.)
DIGGING IN (30 minutes)
The truth can be weird sometimes, can’t it?
The Bible says a lot about truth. Over 200 times the word “truth” is mentioned in Scripture. That’s a lot!
There is one thing that cannot be denied: Truth exists.
1. Do you know anyone who doesn’t believe in truth?
2. Do you know anyone who says that “what’s right for you may not be right for me”? What do you think of that?
Some things just are. The Bible makes a strong case that the truth exists, but beyond the Scriptural claims, there are very few people who do not believe in truth or that there is a right and wrong. It’s common sense almost: the Truth just is. The question comes from what is the standard of Truth. On this point many people disagree, including people in your family, your friends, your teachers, and celebrities. People claim to have “their own truth.”
Before we look at Scriptures concerning the Standard of Truth in our lives, it’s important to realize what life is like if there is no standard.
(Have someone read these scriptures in Judges. Then walk through the cycle of Judges. Don’t spend too much time here, just lay the foundation and move on to the Standard of Truth section.)
Read Judges 17:6 and 21:25
In this particular historical period for Israel, similar to our world today, people sort of made up their own mind on what to do. They personally answered questions of what was right and wrong. They had “their truth” and didn’t force things on one another. It was every person for him or herself. This produced a vicious cycle. (As an option, you may want to illustrate this five point cycle on the board.)
• Live in covenant relationship with God, live freely
• Do what they want, don’t repent, fall out of favor with God
• Become captive to another power, suffer as a nation
• Cry out to God to be saved
• God rescues Israel from danger, restores relationship
It’s clear in the book of Judges (and in our world) that if you don’t have a standard of living, chaos ensues. But what is the standard.
We talked a few minutes ago about how many times the Bible talks about Truth (over 200). We talked last week about how Jesus claimed to be the Truth (see John 14:6). But did you know that of the 200 mentions of Truth in Scripture, over 70 instances are from the mouth of Jesus in the Gospels. Over 30 are in Matthew alone. Let’s look a few up:
Read Matthew 5:18, 26, 17:20, 21:21
1. What is it that Jesus says again and again? (“I tell you the truth.”)
2. Why do you think Jesus said this so often?
3. Do you think Jesus can be trusted? Why/why not?
4. Why don’t you think more people use Jesus as their standard?
5. If Jesus says over 30 times in Matthew that He is telling us the truth, what would keep you from using Him as your standard of right and wrong?
Truth cannot be relative. Sure, there are gray areas sometimes. But there is a Standard of Truth, and His name is Jesus. He may not tell us everything we’ll ever need to know (He doesn’t instruct us how to balance our checkbook, for example), but everything we know and decide upon can be viewed through the lenses of Jesus' approval. This is what being a disciple is about. Decisions concerning how and when to speak, who to date, and what your career will be, etc., should be reserved for the Truth-giver, Jesus, to influence.
Optional Activity (10 mintues)
MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)
1. What other sources of right and wrong could influence someone?
2. Which ones are most common today?
3. How much do you think Jesus influences your life compared to these other influencers?
4. How often do you simply do what is right “in your own eyes”?
In Judges, Israel found themselves in trouble having lived their own way. When this happened, they cried out to God and, without fail, God saved them.
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
Join hands as a group. Israel repented corporately as a nation. We, as a group, need to repent too and hold each other to living Jesus’ way.